Jaguar XF SE review: Jaguar XF SE

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Attractive styling; Updated Bowers & Wilkins audio system; Impressive economy.

The Bad Not very fast; Initially confusing graphical user interface.

The Bottom Line The Jaguar XF SE is cheap to run, relatively cheap to buy and packs some impressive new technology.

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Since its 2008 arrival, the Jaguar XF has established itself as one of the best executive saloons on the market. Sadly, it's a car that often proves expensive to run, due to its use of large, relatively thirsty engines. 

Fortunately for the tight of pocket, Jaguar's 2012 range of XFs include the brand-new XF SE -- a model aimed at a wider (read: less rich) audience. It's powered by the company's third-generation, 2.2-litre, i4 diesel engine, boasts an eight-speed gearbox and has a new stop-start system. All of which is designed to improve economy and reduce emissions.

We spent a couple of days with the XF SE, priced at £30,950, to see how it compares to the XF Diesel S and XFR supercharged models.

The cat's whiskers

The new XF range, which consists of the new XF SE, XF Diesel S and XFR, has been blessed with a host of aesthetic changes for 2012, all of which improve the car's appearance. Its headlights, which are styled to mimic those of its big brother, the XJ , are now more cat-like than ever and feature slick-looking day-running LED lights.

The XF's front grille is now larger and more aggressive-looking, and the lower air intakes are dissected by chrome blades that look as if they were inspired by the front wing of a Formula One car. The rear lights have been given a spruce up too, and have bright, attractive C-shaped LEDs that really are things of beauty. 

These tweaks don't change the car's overall aesthetic dramatically, but they help improve on what was already a very attractive vehicle.

Muddled menu

While the new XF's interior hasn't changed, it does feature a brand-new entertainment and information system. Out goes the trusty Flash-based touchscreen interface of the previous models and in comes a system based on the one found in the Jaguar XJ .

The new touchscreen interface isn't quite as intuitive as before but it's much prettier.

It's not, at first glance, as easy to navigate as the outgoing system, thanks to a slightly confusing menu layout. The main menu, for example, has 'navigation' and 'take me home' options sat adjacent to each other, when logic dictates the latter option should be a sub-option of the first.

After spending time with it, however, it does become second nature, and you'll appreciate the clear, high-resolution graphics and the wealth of previously unseen features the new system brings with it.

Feature presentation

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Where to Buy

Jaguar XF SE

Part Number: CNETJaguar XF SE

Typical Price: £30,950.00

See manufacturer website for availability.